So, WHO exactly told the Grizzly leadership, behind closed doors, that they would be getting free land in the Avendale rezoning process? I sent this letter to the Grizzly leadership and have not heard any response. In the mean time, tomorrow night should be a real show, as planned, by whom, no one knows!secret agent

Dear Grizzly leadership,

My name is Elena Schlossberg and for 8 years now, citizens, like myself, have invested their energy in protecting the best land use tool this county possesses, the Rural Crescent. I am aware that this organization may not be aware of the severe negative consequences of approving Avendale. Every year, a developer proposes to dismantle, via a housing project, the Rural Crescent, for the past two years, citizens have been fighting Avendale, one way or another through a very long process.

Why does Avendale matter? Because the developer would turn a maximum of 12 homes into a possible 700. Can you imagine the strain on the infrastructure for citizens? Schools, roads, emergency services, etc!

The PWC school board sent a strong letter to the Board of County Supervisors rejecting Avendale, the overcrowding is simply too much from past unrestrained development. Haven’t we learned our lesson from overdevelopment given the past housing crisis that contributed to an economic meltdown?

The fact that you all have been “promised” football fields behind closed doors, or as it certainly appears to citizens, is incredibly unethical by any open government standard. Government cannot promise ANY “free” land to a private sports team. There is a public process via the Park Authority that must be followed if park land is proffered.

Nothing is for free. In return for you outcry and “show” at Tuesdays Board meeting, you will be complicit in destroying the Rural Crescent. The rural crescent, in place for over a decade, keeps all our taxes lower, reduces the stress on our school system, our roads, our emergency services, our drinking water cleaner and keeps our air just a little less polluted.

This vote Tuesday is so much more than football fields and I strongly believe that the parents in your organization should be aware of that before they attend the hearing. Shouldn’t they know before they get there that citizens, having fought to protect the Rural Crescent on behalf of ALL PWC citizens will be there in opposition of Avendale? Would your parents feel comfortable fighting for this “free” land to play football if they knew the consequences? Is the message the Grizzlies want to send “the end justify the means” ?

Sincerely,
Elena Schlossberg

Advocates for the Rural Crescent

37 Thoughts to “Who Told The Gainesville Grizzlies They Were Getting Free Parkland From The Avendale Rezoning?”

  1. Not to be a jerk, but do you mean “Who told” and not “Why told” in the title here?

  2. We cannot afford any more schools and we can’t take any more cars on our already congested roads.

    Is there a connection between the rejected asphalt plant from last week and this week’s Avendale request for a zoning variance? Right now, if nothing changes, a developer could build 12 houses. 12 houses doesn’t impact our services or detract from the rural crescent. However, if rezoned into a development where there are 4 houses per acre, there could be nearly 500 houses right there in the rural crescent. I would say 500 houses violates the integrity of the rural crescent by about …oh….488 houses.

    500 houses = 2 new schools;1000 more cars on the road at any given time. More importantly, why is the chairman pushing for this to happen?

    Would it be diabolical to suggest that he could also get more illegal immigrants who work construction into the county to stir up more fear and scare, and then call attention to it and use it for justification of his hair-brained Rule of Law Campaign he is trying to use to catapult himself into state office? Perhaps it isn’t as far-fetched of an idea as one might think. His Rule of Law state campaign has no provision for keeping the developers from hiring undocumented workers.

    The grizzlies are being used and many of the parents don’t seem informed. Land use is complicated and I find myself asking a lot more questions than giving answers. The Grizzly families need to take a crash course in what they are being used for. They need to familiarize themselves with the darker nature of their elected officials. They might get their football practice fields and then again they might not. Those fields might be over in the unused part of Silver lake (the fenced off part where no swimming is allowed) or in the middle of a swamp.

  3. Elena

    Thanks Pinko and thanks for correcting my mistake M-H!

  4. Ralph D. Stephenson

    MESSAGE THREAD TO GAINESVILLE GRIZZLIES AND OPPONENTS OF AVENDALE From Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth

    ——– Original Message ——–
    Subject: Fwd: Further on Avendale, Including Fiscal Impact Analysis & Dirty Tricks by Supporters
    Date: Mon, 02 Aug 2010 23:59:31 -0400
    From: Ralph Stephenson
    To: commissioner@grizzlyfootball.org, vicecommissioner@grizzlyfootball.org, ghyflflag@verizon.net, secretary@grizzlyfootball.org, flag@grizzlyfootball.org, treasurer@grizzlyfootball.org, cheerleading@grizzlyfootball.org, equipment@grizzlyfootball.org, fields@grizzlyfootball.org, fundraising@grizzlyfootball.org, admin@grizzlyfootball.org
    CC: Pugh, Bob

    Parents and officials who support the Gainesville Grizzlies: We’ve been to your website. Our hats are off to you, we support you 100%, and we admire what you’re doing to help the Gainesville Grizzlies and the youth of Prince William County. I have three children, two of whom are still teenagers, and I am always appreciative of those who build the community by supporting our kids.

    It is thus with great sadness that I inform you that you are the victims of a scam perpetrated by Brookfield Homes or perhaps some local politicians who’ve received campaign contributions from Brookfield Homes and/or hope to profit from the “Avendale” housing development. I’m curious as to who approached you and promised that this 3 Aug BOCS vote was about four football fields for youth programs? I assure you that it is nothing of the kind.

    Please consider the info in the e-mails below before you join the Avendale bandwagon tomorrow. Please also note the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting here:

    http://www.pwcgov.org/documents/bocs/agendas/currentagenda.pdf

    Page 5, the Avendale rezoning proposal, which you’ve been told is about four football fields, is really about a residential housing development, with no guarantees whatsoever of four football fields — which, at any rate, could be built at far less cost to county taxpayers, commuters, and homeowners, without Avendale.

    Ralph Stephenson & Bob Pugh, Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth

    ——– Original Message ——–
    Subject: Further on Avendale, Including Fiscal Impact Analysis & Dirty Tricks by Supporters
    Date: Mon, 02 Aug 2010 22:56:26 -0400
    From: Ralph Stephenson
    To: Ralph Stephenson
    CC: BOCS, Prince William County

    I can scarcely believe it myself, but unfortunately, what Bob Pugh, a friend of mine, says below is true. Check it out for yourself at: http://www.grizzlyfootball.org/

    I urge Chairman Stewart and Supervisor Covington, if they were not a part of this disgrace, to do the following at tomorrow’s BOCS meeting at 7:30 pm: thoroughly dissassociate themselves from it, apologize to the parents and children of the Gainesville Grizzlies, on behalf of the citizens of Prince William County, for the deception to which they have fallen victim, and explain to them what Avendale really is: a housing development supported by Brookfield Homes, its employees, and the politicians who rely on its political campaign contributions — not a plan to build four football fields.

    If Chairman Stewart and Supervisor Covington are unwilling to right this wrong, which brings our county’s politics to a new low and makes a mockery of its democratic institutions, then I see no conclusion that can be drawn other than that they’re a part of this scandal.

    Ralph Stephenson

    From: Bob Pugh Sent: Monday, August 02, 2010 11:09 AM
    To: ‘cstewart@pwcgov.org’; ‘wcovington@pwcgov.org’; ‘mnohe@pwcgov.org’; ‘mcaddigan@pwcgov.org’; ‘gainesville@pwcgov.org’; ‘jjenkins@pwcgov.org’; ‘mcmay@pwcgov.org’; ‘fprincipi@pwcgov.org’
    Subject: Avendale Vote Tomorrow

    Dear Members of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors:

    I learned with much disappointment that Chairman Stewart has put the Avendale Comprehensive Plan amendment and rezoning back on the Board’s agenda during the height of the summer vacation season and with less than a week’s notice to the community at large. It does not require membership in Mensa to understand that this is an effort on his part, and on the part of Supervisor Covington and Mike Lubeley [of Brookfield Homes] to railroad through the Board a measure that benefits only them, their personal financial interests, their campaign contributors and their clients.

    We are all familiar with the economic, fiscal, education, transportation and development problems associated with this land use proposal. Ralph Stephenson sent you a message earlier today reminding you of those problems. I am also attaching here the analysis of Avendale I prepared last January. Therefore, I will not repeat those arguments in this message.

    Instead, I will focus on the sleaziest political maneuver I have ever seen in Prince William County. Namely, that is the exploitation of the unsuspecting children and their families from the Gainesville Grizzlies. Promising four footballs fields in exchange for children parading through Citizens Time and the McCoart Building goes beyond the levels of unethical behavior the community has come to expect from Stewart, Covington and Lubeley.

    The Grizzlies should get their football fields. However, funding them through the General Fund and the Park Authority’s budget would be vastly less costly for Prince William County taxpayers than using them as a bribe to trick families into endorsing a development with huge negative fiscal impacts.

    Some of us have been reaching out to members of the Grizzlies over the weekend but, as Supervisors Stewart and Covington planned, will likely not be able to speak to enough of them to change the course of the abominable spectacle planned for Tuesday.

    Rest assured, however, that they will understand how they have been used by Election Day in 2011.

    Most of you do not have your hands dirtied by this shameful behavior – yet. You will have an opportunity to vote to disassociate yourselves from it and vote to oppose Avendale tomorrow.

    To my fellow Republicans on the Board (apart from Stewart and Covington) please consider the future and the credibility of our Party. This sort of closed-door, back-room conniving on behalf of wealthy special interests against the interests of the community is precisely the image we need to avoid to win elections in the future. I know that the rest of you can rise above it.

    Please vote tomorrow not only in the interest of the economic and financial future of Prince William County, but also for common decency and oppose Avendale.

    Thank you.

    Bob Pugh
    Brentstville District

  5. Elana,

    this is just the classic Corey Shell Game. Corey politics 101.
    http://arkjournal.com/uploaded_images/Shell-Game-701994.jpg

    the reason that we (the residents of the Rural Crescent) have to put up with this abomination is the BOCS refuses to step up and build the fields on the current school sites or in the parks, AND PAY FOR IT. (“cowboy up” comes to mind, but i hesitate to use the more ‘racy’ metaphor)

    the BOCS’s mantra is “we won’t raise taxes” but we’ll cause pain for the citizens through over development and BOCS induced fighting amongst the families with sports playing kids and residents that think the Rural Crescent is a good thing. again with the shell game. while we’re battling amongst ourselves the issue will fade by election time and the “fiscal conservatives” will rule the polls again.

    the widening of Rt 15 pittance Toll Brothers paid for (soccer fields and some blacktop) will return much pain when those Dominion Valley proffer townhouses are built. the real pain for me is that a Bond was passed to widen Rt 15 and the money shuffled to complete Spriggs Rd and now even the signs on Rt 15 thank the BOCS and Toll Brothers, with the citizens as a faint afterthought.

    corey should be made dress like the carnival bunko artist he is…

    b

  6. And sadly, I expect all minds have been made up before the meeting even begins.

    There will be all sorts of eye rolling, weeping and gnashing of teeth by the supervisors when we need an additional school and the roads are even more snurled up with traffic, and the commute becomes even longer.

    I hope some personal integrity is shown today. Corey needs to be told NO to Avendale and his buddies need to be sent packing.

  7. Second-Alamo

    Good point, are we going to ensure that any development doesn’t employ illegal immigrants? That would be another negative to the area!

  8. Elena

    SA,
    Seriously, this is what you have gotten out of this thread? The drain of over development and housing glusts cost this county AND country far more than any politically motivated frenzied boogie man scare. Geez, were you absent when the housing debacle crisis crushed our economy just a short time ago?

  9. Elena

    Bruce,
    Accuate as usual. It’s so depressing. The Grizzlies are being used and they don’t even know it. Honestly, I am not even sure if they care. I hope they read the rezoning application and understand that NO ball fields are being proffered.

  10. Elena

    Ralph,
    Thank you for posting your letters regarding Avendale. The REAL issue here is that this county continues englect our quality of life neccesities. Citizens need active and passive rec, not as trade off for overdevelopment which destroys our quality of life and increases our taxes, but as a wholly seperate endeavor.

  11. Need to Know

    My hat’s off to both Moonhowlings and BVBL for putting aside their differences on other issues and helping inform the public on tonight’s upcoming developer scam:

    http://www.bvbl.net/index.php/2010/08/02/developers-try-again-in-pwc/#more-3484

  12. Contributors should note that both BVBL.net and Moonhowlings.net are in complete agreement on this issue. County officials should sit up and take note when both of the county blogs who often do not agree on issues are so solidly in each other’s camps on the issue of Avendale.

  13. Thanks NTK. The Avendale issue is very much a quality of life issue that affects us all.

    It saddens me to think that the Grizzlies think we are against football or kids’ little league in general. All my kids played every sport imaginable. This kind of involvement is very important on many levels.

    A vote against Avendale is NOT a vote against kids and I know that neither Greg nor Elena and I are opposed to kids’ sports. We are all parents. A vote against Avendale is a vote FOR open spaces being preserved so that our kids will have a place to run, play, and enjoy sports and nature.

    If I could, I would vote to put in more sports fields for kids. Kids recreation should not be exchanged for R-4 or R-6 density housing.

  14. Elena

    M-H,
    THAT is the issue. A complete lack of recreational spaces for kids and families is the real problem here and the Grizzlies are simply being used.

  15. Lafayette

    They most certainly should take note that both blogs are in agreement. Both blogs have engaged citizens and that are active in the community on various fronts. Quality of life issues are NOT up for debate. We all care about them.

    I sure wish the Grizzlies didn’t feel we were against sports/fields for their kids. That’s not the case at all. We want kids to have sports and be active. I’m saddened by the thought of these kids being used for the purposes of Avendale.

    How about the county look at some of the existing fields/parks to see if there’s a possibility for football fields there? The land at the existing parks I’m sure is more suitable for fields and less grading to have a decent field.

  16. Curious Cat

    Check out this email message the Gainesville Grizzlies are sending around this morning. Is this a Grizzly townhall meeting or a rezoning!!!???

    Now I really want to know who’s behind this – who promised the Grizzlies these football fields. Why do these people think 500 new houses in the Rural Crescent is a fair price to pay for the football fields? What a disgrace, and to think some people actually wonder why the rest of the region thinks we in PWC are a bunch of bumpkins.

    Subject: Meet Washington Redskin Superbowl Legend at Grizzly Town Hall Mtg

    Its not to late to join your friends tomorrow night at the Grizzly Town Hall meeting to show your support of more youth football fields in the area.

    Former Grizzly Commissioner and Washington Redskins Alumni, Greg Williams will be joining the group for the pep rally and speak at the Supervisors meeting in support of the Avondale zoning which includes 17 acres for youth football fields. Bring your Redskin stuff and Greg will be happy to sign it!

    PLEASE try to get to the Gainesville Commuter Lot (Off of Limestone Road next to the church) by no later than 5:30. The buses must leave by 6pm to make it in plenty of time to eat before the meeting starts at 7:30pm.

    For those of you that are driving, the meeting is being held at:

    Prince William County McCoart
    Administrative Building
    Board Chambers
    1 County Complex Court
    Woodbridge, VA

    The meeting will start promptly at 7:30pm. Please send an email to growler@grizzlyfootball.org if you have any questions.

  17. The parents need to realize that if the county keeps scarfing up the rural crescent and other open spaces and allows the planting high density housing but developers, there will not be any sports fields because there won’t be any land left for them.

    Growler might have some explaining to do when these current grizzlies all have graduated from high school and they still don’t have fields.

    I would love to know which supervisor approached the Grizzlies about this. I would let it follow them for the rest of their political life.

    Welcome Curious Cat.

  18. How will Greg Williams address the board when there is no public hearing? Is he a Prince William County resident? He should be behind every adult at citizens’ time who has something to say.

    Actually, I am starting to get it. No public hearing and so citizens time is being jammed by all the grizzlies about practice fields, not about Avendale. No one who is concerned over the rural crescent will be given a chance to speak.

  19. Elena

    Thanks for your post Curious Cat! PWC bumpkins…… I would think that was funny if it weren’t so depressing.

  20. Elena

    I wonder, what are the ramification of denying Finley, an application that actually has zoning merit in comparison to a possible approval of Avendale, which requires a CPA? Has the Board considered the possible legal ramifications of this inconsistency?

  21. @Curious Cat
    The politics of…sports? That’s pretty disgusting.

    Is it me, or do most people in this area not want more development and the supervisors are not listening at all?

  22. Mando

    I wish all of you would stop assuming you represent the citizens of PWC.

    1. @Mando, We ARE citizens of Prince William County and we are entitled to express our opinion. You might interesting that the dark screen shares our opinion. (and we share theirs) The stars and moon have aligned.

      The bottom line is, when moonhowlings and bvbl agree on something, the BOCS needs to take notice.

  23. Curious Cat

    And I wish the Gainesville Grizzlies would stop assuming they represent the citizens of PWC.

  24. Lafayette

    @Mando
    We most certainly do represent the citizens of PWC, because we are citizens of PWC. We all have our own opinion. Of course this is like any other issue we all won’t have the same opinion.

  25. @Moon-howler
    Well, the BOCS needs to take notice even when both screens do NOT agree, but I know what you are saying, MH.

  26. Yea, they do but when both screens agree, we must be on to something.

    There are some mysteries out there for sure. And like an onion, the mysteries are being revealed. You just have to keep peeling–layer by layer.

  27. Mom

    Classic or Tragic, you decide.
    On the afternoon of the Avendale vote and a week after the Finley debacle, Corey is instructed staff to muster and help Finley by finding a buyer for the land he can’t use as a result of Corey’s failings. Classic, the county encourages him to buy, then denies the use and now we have to pay staff to help him sell it.

    1. @ Mom, Will the new buyer pay the pumped up price or the county assessed price?

  28. Need to Know

    @Mom

    Finley was probably getting ready to sue and accepted this as a consolation prize. It’s probably not a bad idea, however, to try to avoid something going in that would not be compatible with Innovation.

    How much more are PWC taxpayers going to have to pay for Stewart’s and Covington’s corruption? If they win tonight, add hundreds of thousands and eventually millions per year to pay for Avendale.

    Supervisor Stirrup sent out an email today saying that each turf field at Long Park cost approximately $1 million. Brookfield homes is proffering $100,000 to the Park Authority. The acreage being proffered will not easily be turned into football fields. Where does the County get $4 million or more for the four football fields Stewart is promising the Grizzlies? It doesn’t. The Grizzlies are being exploited and are screwed. Moreover, they are risking their tax-exempt status by getting involved in politics.

    I hope they remember all of this at election time next year.

  29. Laurie-Anne Manel

    Elena,
    I commend you for keeping up this battle throughout the years. Unfortunately, I am unable to attend the meeting tonight (Tues) but trust that both Moonhowler and BVBL will keep everyone updated on the proceedings and outcome.

    Brookfield Homes is responsible for the same type of relentless pressure on local governments to develop recklessly in Ontario as they are here in Virginia. Activists were finally successful in keeping the valuable Oak Ridge Moraine from being completely developed as developers like Brookfield, etc wanted. However, most of the prime Class-A farmland has been allowed to be built over, which can never be returned to Agricultural use. We need to ask why there isn’t more emphasis on redeveloping existing infrastructure, rather than continue to press out even deeper into the exurbs. We moved to PWC because this is where we boarded our children’s horses and they rode almost full-time — we didn’t want to live in Fairfax County or Arlington. Now we live in the equivalent of FFX but with a much longer, frustrating and expensive commute. It has been a lose-lose proposition all round.

  30. Elena

    Laurie,
    Welcome and thank you for your very kind comments. A multitude of citizens have fought tirelessly, for no personal gain, in order to help the entire community of PWC have a better quality of life.

    Developers are only as successful as the elected public servants who allow, promote it, faciliate their successes.

    Corey showed his true colors, at least now there is no guesswork.

  31. Elena

    NTK,
    I am sorry, I am also holding the Grizzlies responsible for part of this debacle. In my mind, having heard the vast reasons why Avendale is bad for ALL citizens, they still CHOSE to remain selfish. Our tax dollars should go towards building their football fields? Our tax dollars should go towards making up the shortfall that Avendale is sure to bring? Some nerve is all I have to say, some nerve.

  32. Censored bybvbl

    Elena, I agree that the Grizzles should shoulder much of the blame for this development. They could have mobbed any BOCS meeting and demanded/requested additional ballparks for the kiddos instead of tying their desires to a rezoning which means more traffic, school congestion, and road expenditures for the rest of us. Why not ask for a bond for more parks? It was a sneaky way of sticking the rest of the taxpayers with the bill without getting our input on specific park ideas/recommendations.

  33. […] on this.  Even the ladies who started Anti-BVBL are in total agreement with BVBL on this.  And the developers whipped out the ole “bus in the kids to cry about how they need the promise….  Sounds familiar, Loudouners, doesn’t […]

  34. @Elena

    I don’t hold the children Grizzlies responsible, just the adult Grizzilies. The kids were just pawns. Actually, so were the adults. However, the adults needed at least listen. Many of them shunned any attempt to learn the issues, regardless of which side they took.

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